Tigers sign Rodriguez
Gazette File Photo
“AND THIS IS FOR DATING THAT GIRL FROM GLITTER.” Recent
Detroit Tigers signee Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez tags
out Mariah Carey’s former flame — Yankees shortstop
and chief pretty boy Derek Jeter — while playing for
the Texas Rangers during the 2002 season.
DETROIT (AP) — Ivan Rodriguez finalized
his US$40-million, four-year contract with the Detroit Tigers on
Monday, leaving the World Series champion Florida Marlins to join
a team that last year set the American League record for losses.
Rodriguez, a 10-time all-star catcher and Most Valuable Player
of the National League championship series, gets $7 million this
year, $8 million in 2005 and $11 million each in 2006 and 2007,
according to contract information obtained by The Associated Press.
The Tigers have a $13-million option for 2008 with a $3-million
Detroit will defer $2 million of his salary in 2004 and $3 million
each in 2006 and 2007, all at one per cent interest.
If Rodriguez goes on the disabled list for 35 or more days in
2004 or 2005 because of a lower spine injury, Detroit could void
the rest of the contract by paying a $5-million buyout. If he goes
on the DL for 35 or more days in 2006 because of a lower spine
injury, the Tigers could terminate the deal by paying a $4-million
Rodriguez would get a $500,000 bonus if he’s voted the American
League MVP, an award he won with Texas in 1999. If he wins the
award twice under the contract, he would get $1 million the second
The signing of the 10-time Gold Glove winner is the latest high-profile
move by the Tigers, who went 43-119 last season.
Detroit won five of its last six games to avoid tying the post-1900
major league record of 120 losses, set by the 1962 New York Mets.
The Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles also had expressed interest
in Rodriguez. Rodriguez had a $10-million, one-year deal with the
Marlins last season. He asked for a $40-million, four-year contract
from Florida, which broke off talks Dec. 7.
The Tigers have been active in the free-agent market, but they
had not signed an undisputed star such as Rodriguez.
Second baseman Fernando Vina and outfielder Rondell White agreed
to $6-million, two-year deals in December, and starting pitcher
Jason Johnson signed a $7-million, two-year contract later that
month. The Tigers also traded for Seattle shortstop Carlos Guillen.